BHUBANESWAR l sunday l may 23, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l LATE CITY EDITION Yaas may turn into a very severe cyclonic storm: IMD It is likely to reach north Bay of Bengal near West Bengal and the north Odisha and Bangladesh coasts by May 26 morning wind speeds up to 165 kmph, heavy rains Days after Tauktae pummeled the west coast and wreaked havoc, Yass’ formation sent the National Crisis Management Committee into a huddle on Saturday. Attending the meeting, the IMD said the cyclone will pack wind speeds up to 155-165 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges in the coastal districts and recommended large scale evacuations ■ 6th 85 ndrf teams, army, ships on stand-by ■ ■ While the NDRF will deploy 85 teams, the army, navy and coast guard, along with ships and aircraft, will also chip in for rescue Covid-appropriate shelters set up, with adequate stocks of food grains, drinking water, medicines and other essential supplies Works on to ensure uninterrupted oxygen and medicine supplies named by oman, it is the 6th storm over north Indian ocean this year CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI JTWC says the system will continue to track northward and intensify steadily; many coastal districts already experiencing rainfall Low pressure forms, Odisha braces for ‘Yaas’ E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Odisha is bracing for a midpandemic natural disaster as a low pressure formed over eastcentral Bay of Bengal on Saturday morning is likely to grow into a very severe cyclonic storm ‘Yaas’ over the next four days. Preliminary forecast says, the tropical storm may cross the coast around north Odisha, West Bengal and Bangladesh by May 26 evening. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the low pressure will concentrate into a depression by Sunday morning, move north-northwestwards and intensify into a cyclonic storm by Monday Over the sub. sequent 24 hours, it would gain strength into a very severe cyclonic storm. The storm will continue to move north-northwestwards and reach north Bay of Bengal near West Bengal, adjoining north Odisha and Bangladesh coasts around Wednesday morning. The path of the system can be ascertained after it intensifies into a depression, Director Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre HR Biswas said. Private weather forecaster Skymet said, cyclone Tauktae, which formed over Arabian Sea, had a long sea travel and therefore intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm. “The tropical storm over Bay of Bengal will barely have 500 km to 600 km of ocean stretch before the coastline. The storm is expected to move north-west towards West Bengal and north Odisha coast and will make landfall on May 26 morning,” it added. According to Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), global models are in good agreement that the system will continue to track northward and intensify steadily. The potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours has been upgraded to medium, the agency predicted. With formation of the system, many coastal districts began reporting rainfall intensity of which would only increase over the next few days. Very heavy rainfall warning has been issued for Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts Tuesday onwards. While wind speed reaching 40 km/hr to 50 km/hr and gusting up to 60 km/hr will prevail along and off Odisha coast from Monday evening, it might increase further, hitting 90 km/hr to 100 km/hr and gusting up to 110 km/hr from Wednesday afternoon. Dark clouds engulfed Bhubaneswar skyline before a drizzle on Saturday afternoon even as a cyclone builds up in the Bay of Bengal | Biswanath Swain ‘No person to be left behind,’ Mission Zero Casualty activated by Naveen E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday asked the district collectors to ensure that not a single person is left behind in low lying areas and kutcha houses during the cyclone, which is brewing in the Bay of Bengal. Reviewing the cyclone preparedness through video conference, the Chief Minister said that as the situation has become more challenging because of the Covid-19 pandemic, all steps should be taken to evacuate peo- ple from vulnerable areas in time and with proper adherence to Covid protocols. Steps should also be taken to prevent any disruption in supply of medical oxygen inside or outside the state during the cyclone, he stated. As the coastal dist r i c t s o f B a l a s o re, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur are expected to bear the brunt of the storm, cyclone shelters have already been readied in the low lying areas of the region. While 1,223 cyclone shelters have been identified in Balasore district, The worst is yet to come for developing nations, says IMF E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E India’s second Covid wave is a warning for things to come in low- and middle-income countries that have escaped the pandemic till now, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The ongoing catastrophic second wave in India, following a terrible wave in Brazil, is a sign the worst may be yet to come in the developing world,” said a report co-au- thored by IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath and economist Ruchir Agarwal. In the first wave, India’s healthcare system held up fairly well but this time, the country’s medical infrastructure might be crumbling under the case load, the discussion paper noted. According to the note, the vaccine coverage in India is expected to remain under 35% of the population by the end of 2021. To get to 60% cov- Steroid overuse sparked black fungus cases, says Centre; tally at 8,848 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Centre on Saturday released a national list of mucormycosis (black fungus) infection case count among the convalescing Covid patients, placing the number at 8,848. It blamed uncontrolled and irrational use of steroids as part of Covid-19 treatment regimen for the infection, but said it was not an outbreak. Admitting that the supply of Amphotericin B, a drug used to treat the infection, was limited, it said efforts were on to ramp up the production capacity . “Amphotericin B’s availability and supply is being raised. The department of Pharma is coordinating with the Ministry of Health to provide license to five additional manufacturers. The existing manufacturers are working towards increasing their production capacity ,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the health ministry . Meanwhile, stating that Cov- id was not responsible for black fungus cases, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog’s member (health), said: “Steroids are wonder drugs that help save lives, but when irrational doses are given, they have a negative impact. One of them is black fungus.” Stating that the infection existed even during pre-Covid times, he said: “It is an uncommon illness that primarily affects the diabetic, but it has not spread in the form of an outbreak.” As per official data, 23,000 vials of Amphotericin B have been sent to the worst-hit states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra and Telangana, among others. According to AIIMS, New Delhi, chief Dr Randeep Guleria, persistent headache or swelling on one side of the face were some of the symptoms of the rare infection. He said discolouration in the mouth and decreased sensation in any part of the face, too, were signs that convalescent patients must consult a doctor. erage, India will need to immediately place vaccine orders of about 1 billion doses through contracts that incentivise investment in additional capacity and augmentation of the supply chain, it added. “In this context, the recently announced financing of about $600 million to the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech to boost production capacity in the near term is a welcome step,” the report said, adding that authorities estimate two billion doses will be available by the end of 2021. “India is a warning of possible events in other low- and middle-income countries that so far have seemingly escaped the pandemic, including in Africa,” the report said. For India, current bilateral purchases of vaccine plus coverage from Covax will cover about 25% of its population by the first half of 2022. fresh faces cong takes a leaf out of CPM book to select LoP E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Five time MLA from Paravoor, VD Satheesan (56) will be the new Opposition leader of Kerala as his appointment as the Congress Legislature Party leader was confirmed by the high command on Saturday . His elevation came after former AICC president Rahul Gandhi and general secretary K C Venugopal ignored pressure tactics employed by dominant groups led by Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala and instead went by the sentiments of majority of active workers and youth leaders. The party also took into account the change in political environment triggered by the revolutionary steps taken by the CPM and CPI to replace an entire generation of CONTINUED ON: P5 political leaders with fresh faces. NATIONWIDE MAY 21 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 22 2,59,551 2,57,299 3,57,295 3,57,630 4,209 4,194 May 21 Take 13,83,358 doses your May 22 shot 15,52,126 doses Total doses: 19,49,51,603 Jab-o-meter ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 21 12,523 10,881 27 MAY 22 11,108 10,601 26 Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, or Covax, is a worldwide initiative for equitable access to Covid vaccines. The IMF report said India continues to face vaccine production bottlenecks, including due to ongoing shortages of critical raw materials. According to IMF, urgent steps should be taken to eliminate constraints on crossborder exports of critical raw materials and finished vaccines. Bhadrak has so far kept in readiness 700 shelters. Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts have also identified 970 and 223 cyclone shelters respectively. The Chief Minister asked the district collectors and superintendents of police to personally monitor evacuation of people from low lying and vulnerable places to the cyclone shelters. He asked the collectors to make alternative arrangements for uninterrupted power and drinking water supply to all Covid hospitals and Covid care centres in areas that are likely to be hit by the cyclone. The Chief Minister directed the officials to ensure that Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Fire Services and road clearance teams with machinery are posted at all vulnerable places for quick response. As many as 66 ODRAF, 22 NDRF and 177 fire service teams will be deployed in affected areas. The teams will leave for their respective places in the coastal districts on Sunday CONTINUED ON: P5 morning. E X PRESS READ Nepal Prez dissolves House, snap polls in Nov Kathmandu: Nepal’s President on Saturday dissolved the House of Representatives for the second time in five months and announced snap elections in November, rejecting both embattled PM K P S Oli and the Opposition alliance’s claims to form a government | P9 Drop mention of Indian variant, social media told New Delhi: The Centre has asked social media companies to remove any content which mentions or refers to the term ‘Indian variant’ of coronavirus, in a bid to curb spread of misinformation around Covid19. Digital platforms said they have received the latest advisory WITH THIS ISSUE The Unscrupulous Indian PLUS 12 PAGES Boosted by RBI’s dividend gift, FinMin asks PSUs to ramp up capital spending An u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi Encouraged by the morethan-expected dividend handout from the Reserve Bank of India, the finance ministry has asked Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) to exceed their capital expenditure (capex) target by 20-25% than what was originally given in the budget and use reserve to increase dividend. The ministry has sent an internal note to the top management of CPSEs in this regard, a senior official told TNIE. “Last year, many CPSEs failed to increase their capex in the first half. It was only after the FM nudged them to do so in several meetings. Learning from the lessons from the first wave, they have been asked to be prompt and scale up so that it will help economic recovery, the official said. Last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her meetings with CPSE heads con- stantly followed up to increase capital spending to make up for the curb in expenditure. It worked. CPSEs in the oil and gas sector alone recorded a capex of `5,610 crore in April, higher than what they had spent the previous year. As the government is likely to miss the divestment target, it is banking on extra dividend. On Friday, RBI had said it would transfer `99,122 crore as surplus to the Centre. n a t u r e h a s a ll a n s w e r s How a quaint hamlet continues to evade Covid SV KRISH N A CHAITA N YA @ Tiruvallur In all likelihood, the Covid could be this century’s World War, and few have been completely spared of the pandemic’s myriad blows. But strangely one quaint hamlet nested in , the lap of Eastern Ghats on Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border has managed to keep the infection at bay . Not recognised even by Google Maps, Nariankonai is just a 90-minute drive from the State’s capital. It is home to 60 odd families and has a total population of about 500 people. Every family owns one or two acres of land and they grow vegetables and paddy for self sustenance. Most households also rear cattle and poultry, while they depend on herbs from nearby forest for medicine. Nariankonai Nariankonai hamlet in Thiruvallur district | DEBADATTA MALLICK has a common vehicle to transport produce to the Koyambedu vegetable and fruit market. Though the government on Saturday announced complete lockdown till May 31 and experts emphasis on wearing masks even inside homes, none of these regulations apply here. There is no sense of panic or fear of the pandemic and the residents are in no rush to receive vaccination either.
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